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HUBBARD: Extra point is more valuable than you think
Phillip B. Hubbard
Phillip B. Hubbard

Growing up, an extra point attempt, on any level, was considered automatic. It almost seemed as if it was never factored into the equation when deciding a game. 

Since then, there’s been a lot more emphasis placed on the extra point and Newton High School’s football game last Friday proved why. 

The Rams went into overtime tied with Langston Hughes 0-0. Newton went on defense first and surrendered a touchdown. 

On the ensuing extra point attempt, the Rams blocked it and kept the score 6-0. 

Newton went on offense and tied the game 6-6 with the extra point upcoming. Sophomore kicker, Jefferson Hernandez walked onto the field, setup the formation and marked off his steps. 

If he completes the attempt, Newton wins. If he misses, both teams go into a second overtime period. 

The ball is then snapped, the hold is good and Hernandez puts the ball right down the middle and Newton wins the game. 

When all was said and done, the difference in the game was one point – Hernandez’s extra point. 

What would’ve happened if Hernandez missed? Obviously, the game would’ve gone into a second overtime that would’ve taken on a life of its own. 

As a result, the Rams could be 0-1 right now instead of 1-0, which is why there’s been a lot of emphasis placed on the extra point in recent years. 

The National Football League, in particular, has altered extra point regulations recently. It pushed the extra point attempts from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line.  

This change was implemented in 2015 and it showed a drastic change in production. For instance, in 2014, NFL kickers were 99.3 percent successful on extra point attempts while, a year later, the percentage dropped to 94.2. 

On the college football landscape, kickers successfully placed the ball through the uprights 97.1% of the time in 2019. 

Included in the 2.9% missed rate is Louisiana Monroe’s extra point miss versus Florida State that the Seminoles won 45-44. 

Friday’s contest can be included in the list of examples why the extra point is crucial in the game of football. It can ultimately decide a game.